Lump on back that seems to be cause of pain

by Emily

I have this lump on my upper back that I've had for a few years now. I've had dull upper back pain on and off with it as well. Today I'm having the upper back and neck pain, but it's worse.

It's more burning and stinging now and I'm having neck pain, shoulder pain, and numbness and tingling in my arm. I'm a female age 25. The lump even looks inflamed because it's bigger and red. What could possible be wrong with me?

It's possible, Emily, that there are two different conditions involved. It's unlikely that lump would cause numbness and tingling in your arm.

But you must start with that red, inflamed lump. I would assume it's a medical problem, so your GP would be the best port of call.

Ask him or her if it could also be causing the numbness in your arm.

Then, start to take note of exactly which part of your arm is numb and tingly. And what provokes the tingling.

Do our upper limb tension test and tell the doctor if it's positive.

There really are a host of possibilities. Don't leave it any longer; you really need in the first place the correct diagnosis, and that you're not going to get off the internet.

I hope this contributes.

Dr B

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Oct 21, 2015
Big breasted
by: Emily

Thank you for your opinion! I still have chronic back and neck pain, but I think it all may have started from poor posture all my life and being big breasted. I'm working on getting insurance now. Hoping it's one I can afford.

Hello again Emily,
I'm not generally in favour of cosmetic surgery, but the one exception is large breasts. They certainly do put a strain on the back and neck.

Unfortunately the insurance may exclude your neck problems. Talk to them.

Dr B

Oct 13, 2015
Lump in the midback
by: Emily

Thank you, but basically all you said was see a doctor. You didn't even say what the Two possible problems could be. Oh let me add now that the lump is like a fatty lump not a boil or anything. It reminds me of a lump characterized of someone with Cushing syndrome. It was just swollen and warm to touch for a few days.

I'm still having some pains in my back, neck and shoulder. My entire upper back feels like a pulled muscle right now and if I turn my head in a certain way it sends shooting pains down my neck and back. Even if I cough or breath deep it makes the pain worse in my shoulder and back. I did the test you told me to do and the pain was worse in my arm and hands. It's hard to type this message even now because I had only just done the test. I know I need to see an actual doctor, but I have no insurance. I've been trying to save, but something else always comes up.

I was just hoping you may have an idea what is causing this. I gave it a 3 since you didn't even try to come up with some possibilities, but not a 1 since you at least replied.

Hello Emily,
A swollen, warm lump needs in the first place a medical evaluation.

The fact that movements of your neck cause pain down the arm suggest a nerve root entrapment at the base of your cervical spine. Taking note of exactly where the radiating pain goes will help the clinician.

It's wise Emily to either have health insurance, or invest an equivalent amount every month in a dedicated health account. Rainy days always arise.

Dr B.

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost painfree. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he's well pleased; sixty five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he's taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily walk has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.  

10. Mr X is a 71 year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a year ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38 old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he couldn't sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.

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